2023 NFL power rankings, Week 18: Ravens, 49ers secure top seeds, Cowboys make move

Dec 31, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs through
Dec 31, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs through / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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6-10 | Previous Rank: 26th | Week 17: Lost to Browns, 37-20. . . . 28. 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . . . 30

Another game and another rough outing for Robert Saleh’s club. The Jets finished the night at Cleveland with 360 total yards and won the turnover battle against the Browns. Jermaine Johnson even returned a Joe Flacco pick 37 yards for a touchdown. Saleh’s club trailed 34-17 at halftime and gave up 367 total yards in the first two quarters.

The Jets fell to 6-10, the fourth straight year and seventh time in eight seasons that the club has posted double-digit losses. The last winning campaign was a 10-6 finish in 2015, which wasn’t enough to grab a playoff berth.

2023 NFL Power Rankings. 47. 4-12| Previous Rank: 28th | Week 17: Lost to Bills, 27-21. . . . . 27. .

Jalen Reagor got the visiting Patriots off to a good start at Buffalo, returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score. However, Bill Belichick’s club turned over the ball four times in the first half, three of those Bailey Zappe interceptions, and one of those picks was returned for a score. The Pats were down just 20-13 at halftime.

It turned out to be another wasted defensive effort by Belichick’s club. The Patriots clinched last place in the AFC East for the first time since 2000, and the club’s dozen losses are the most since the team finished 2-14 in 1992.

. . . . 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . . 4-12 | Previous Rank: 29th | Week 17: Defeated Eagles, 35-31. 32. 26

The Cardinals were in Philadelphia looking to avoid losing 13 games for the second consecutive season. It didn’t look good early as former Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s club trailed 21-6 at intermission. However, running back James Conner and quarterback Kyler Murray were the catalysts of a stirring comeback.

Conner finished with 128 yards rushing, ran for one score (with 32 seconds to play) and caught one of Murray’s three TD passes. The latter overcame a second-quarter pick-six to throw for 232 yards in the upset victory.

. 5-11 | Previous Rank: 23rd | Week 17: Lost to Rams, 26-25. . 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . . . 31. . 25

On Christmas afternoon at Philadelphia, Brian Daboll’s disappointing club took the division rival Eagles to the wire. On Sunday, they gave Sean McVay’s Rams all they could handle. Unfortunately for the Giants, they let a pair of opportunities to pull out a win through their fingers and lost for the third straight week and the 11th time in 2023.

The big play came when Gunner Olszewski returned a punt 94 yards to narrow the deficit to 26-25 with 3:27 to play. The Giants failed on the two-point conversion. Moments later, Mason Crosby missed on a 54-yard field goal.